WXXI AM News

Connections: How children's immune systems could be affected by pandemic policies

Jul 22, 2021

From lockdowns to remote learning to wearing masks in public, experts say COVID-19 policies and procedures were effective in limiting exposure to the virus. But, more than a year later, those experts say that there’s a reason to be concerned about children’s immunological development being compromised.

Writing for The Conversation, viral immunologist Byram Bridle says, “Raising children during the pandemic has largely occurred in isolated/sanitized environments that are unprecedented in extent and duration. These kids are at greater risk of developing hypersensitivities and autoimmune diseases than anyone before them. The immune systems of children are not designed to develop in isolation from the microbial world, so let’s consider letting children be children again.”

This hour, we’re joined by local experts who weigh in on this. They also discuss food allergies in children and what parents and educators need to know. Our guests:

  • S. Shahzad Mustafa, M.D., lead physician in the Department of Allergy, Immunology, & Rheumatology at Rochester Regional Health
  • Peter Capucilli, M.D., physician in the Department of Allergy, Immunology, & Rheumatology at Rochester Regional Health